Parents Television Council's

Weekly Wrap

Weekly Informational Email

In this issue

August 3, 2007

Media Quote of the Week:
"Cable has taken a giant step toward being iconoclastic. It has defined itself as a seeker of human behavior that's not judged or encased in moral standing." -- Holly Hunter, star of TNT's new drama Saving Grace, Philadelphia Inquirer, July 17, 2007
Statistic of the Week:
Technology has served to dramatically increase the number of friends teens have. Globally, the average young person connected to digital technology has 94 phone numbers in his or her mobile phone, 78 people on a messenger buddy list and 86 people in their social-networking community. The majority of respondents said most of the Web-site links (88%) they viewed and the viral-video content they downloaded (55%) came from friends' recommendations. -- The Circuits of Cool/Digital Playground, a new global study about youth and technology by Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions and MTV Networks
PTC Sets Sail!
Last week, both Hallmark Channel President Henry Schlieff and Disney CEO Robert Iger announced that their studios will eliminate depictions of smoking from their films. Iger stated that he would even discourage smoking in movies released by Disney's specialty film labels Touchstone and Miramax, and promised to place anti-smoking public service announcements on DVDs of any future Disney, Touchstone or Miramax film that depicts smoking.

Cigarette smoking has become more prominent in recent movies. Research by the Dartmouth Medical School found that 74% of recent box-office hits contained smoking. The study also found that teenagers who had seen the most smoking in movies were nearly twice as likely to have tried cigarettes as those who saw the least amount of on-screen smoking.

PTC President Tim Winter applauded both Hallmark and Disney, saying, "This decision shows tremendous responsibility and concern for the health of young viewers. The PTC congratulates Mr. Iger and Mr. Schlieff for setting a family-friendly example...one we hope others in the entertainment industry will follow."

PTC President, Tim Winter discusses the news that Disney banned smoking in movies on MSNBC. Click here to Watch!
The Parents Television Council praised XM and Sirius satellite radio for announcing their commitment to provide consumers and families the ability to choose their programming on an a la carte basis, pending approval and completion of their proposed merger. In addition to offering their traditional bundles of programming, XM and Sirius will offer more affordable a la carte packages, including an option for families to block adult-themed channels and receive a price credit for the unwanted programming.

"This announcement by XM and Sirius constitutes the best set of parental controls we've ever seen to not only prevent children's access to adult-themed programming, but to enable the marketplace to decide what it wishes to purchase and pay for," said PTC President Tim Winter. more
The Parents Television Council battles media indecency in many ways, but one of the most important is keeping the public informed about the content on TV programs today.

On our internet website, www.parentstv.org, we feature several columns which keep readers up to date on the latest outrageous TV content. Written by the PTC's trained analysts and updated weekly, each column provides a valuable insight into the kind of programming the entertainment industry promotes.

The newest of the PTC's columns is So You Think You Can Rate a TV Show?, which closely compares the content of an individual program with the rating that episode received. Because the V-Chip and other blocking technologies depend upon TV's program ratings -- ratings assigned by the networks themselves -- to block offensive shows, if the rating does not accurately reflect the program's content much that is objectionable will slip through and may be seen by children, even if the V-Chip is properly programmed and used. This column documents blatant instances of program mis-rating by the TV networks.

Other columns aid families in making TV viewing choices. The Best of Broadcast TV column highlights child-friendly programs with positive messages, and which can comfortably be viewed by the entire family. By contrast, the Worst on Broadcast TV and Worst on Cable TV columns serve to warn parents against programs dangerous for children, describing in detail the violence, sex, profanity, and other negative behaviors shown. In addition, there are other columns on entertainment, politics and culture by PTC Founder L. Brent Bozell; Parenting and the Media by Parent Previews founder Rod Gustafson; and Culture Watch, which explores various issues related to the entertainment industry. The PTC's website columns are one more way we work to keep concerned viewers informed about choices in their television programming.
Bratz: The Movie

Release Date: August 3, 2007
MPAA Rating: PG for thematic elements
Staring: Nathalia Ramos, Janel Parrish, Logan Browning, Skyler Shaye, Chelsea Staub, Jon Voight
Genre: Comedy and Kids/Family
Age Recommendation: Not recommended for children under 8
PTC Overall Traffic Light Rating: Green

Bratz: The Movie is an innocent film that would appeal to many adolescent and pre-adolescent girls. Some parents may be put-off by the emphasis on superficial values and the heavy promotion of MTV in the second half (Meredith throws a "Super Sweet Sixteen" party to be filmed by MTV to cement her popularity; the "Bratz" are offered an opportunity to appear at a red carpet event by an MTV executive).

Overall, Bratz: The Movie does reinforce many positive values. The selfish behavior exhibited by Meredith is clearly shown to be distasteful and alienating. Though she clearly thinks she is the most popular girl in school, her social status is achieved through intimidation, manipulation and blackmail leaving her with few true friends.  Far from being "brats" the heroines exhibit true friendship and compassion for each other and a desire to break free of the confining stereotypes that limited social interaction among the different cliques. The PTC does not recommend this movie for children under the age of 8. more

Are your kids starting to get excited about going back to school? Well, this week the PTC recommends some of our top selling DVD's to help get you excited about "back to school" too! You can also shop online at Amazon.com, Walmart.com or PersonalCreations.com. When you buy through these links a portion of your purchase will aid in funding the critical mission of the PTC!

Featured Items of the Week

PTC Review: High School Musical


PTC Review: Akeelah and the Bee

Facing the Giants

PTC Review: The Ron Clark Story

Visit our PTC Online Store at www.parentstv.org/store

Friday, August 3, 2007

Hannah Montana, 7:00 p.m. (Eastern) Disney Channel Miley poses as a store mannequin to spy on her father when he goes shopping for her.
If Walls Could Talk, 7:00 p.m. (Eastern) Home and Garden A 100 year-old home is surrounded by unusual trees, and another home contains a hidden doorway and secret room.
Dog Whisperer, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) National Geographic Channel Dog behavior expert Cesar Milan rehabilitates badly behaving canines.
Meerkat Manor Re-Cap, 8:30 p.m. (Eastern) Animal Planet Tonight's program are highlights of the second season.
Paula's Party, 9:00 p.m. (Eastern) Food Network Tonight's episode features the preparation of chili, shrimp etoufee and bananas.
How It's Made, 9:30 p.m. (Eastern) SCICH This episode explores wood-burning stoves, orthoses, ballet slippers and buses.


Saturday, August 4, 2007

Penguin Safari, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) National Geographic Channel South Georgia, an island of Antarctica, is the focus as King, Macaroni and Gentoo penguins come together for breeding.
Cory in the House, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern)
Disney Channel Sophie tapes Cory dancing to the theme song of a kids show, in an attempt to force him to let him hang around with him and his friends.
Shiloh 2: Shiloh Season, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) Animal Planet A boy tries to keep away his trouble prone dog from an abusive neighbor in this sequel to the 1996 film.
Flip That House, 9:30 p.m. (Eastern) TLC Tonight's episode is an update on a house in Thousand Oaks, CA, as well as a first time flipper.
Design on a Dime, 10:00 p.m. (Eastern) Home and Garden A woman has her bedroom updated.
Fireballs From Space, 10:00 p.m. (Eastern) SCIH Comets, asteroids and meteors are this episode's topics.


Sunday, August 5, 2007

Wild Kingdom, 7:00 p.m. (Eastern) Animal Planet Tonight's episode focuses on the somewhat small but ferocious wolverine, as it is filmed in the forests of Finland.
Fort Knox: Secrets Revealed, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) History Channel This PG-rated program explores the facts and history of Fort Knox, depository for the gold of the United States.
Extreme Makeover Home Edition 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) ABC A couple whose home was destroyed by a small plane crash vacation in Costa Rica while the team builds them a new home.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) Turner Classic Movies Jimmy Stewart portrays the idealistic young senator, Jefferson Smith, in this 1939 classic. The determined and principled Smith fights corrupt politicians in his quest to establish a national boys' camp.
Angels in the Outfield, 9:00 p.m. (Eastern)
Disney Channel The manager of the California Angels decides to put the fate of his team in the hands of a young boy who can see angels in this remake of the 1951 film.
World's Best, 9:00 p.m. (Eastern) Travel Channel An exploration of some of the top spots where one can overeat.


For More Weekly Picks, Click Here.

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